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Commemorative Joint Issue Stamps on Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal – 7th January 2017.

India attaches great value to its historical bonds with Portugal spanning over 500 years. India and Portugal enjoy excellent bilateral relationship with each other with frequent and active interaction through different platforms that allow both countries to exchange views on many of common issues of concern. This collaboration has been fruitful and beneficial for both countries and the ties of both countries continue to grow from strength to strength over the years.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Portuguese Republic, Mr. Antonio Costa released a set of two commemorative Joint Issue stamps (5 Rs and 25 Rs), issued by the postal departments of India and Portugal, at Hyderabad House, New Delhi on 7th January, 2017. Both the stamps depict Dandiya Dance of India and Pauliteiros Dance of Portugal. A miniature sheet has also been released.

Dandiya dance is the most popular traditional folk dance form of Gujarat. It is a special feature of the Navratri festival. Dandiya is a dance form usually performed in a group, by both men and women. The special feature of the Dandiya dance is the colourful attire worn by the dancers and the colourful sticks carried by them. The wooden sticks are used as prop and are beautifully decorated. Dandiya dance or Raas is also associated with scenes of Holi, and lila of Krishna and Radha at Vrindavan.

The Portuguese stick dance known as dança dos paulitos or Pauliteiros. Male stick dancers from North Eastern Portugal are called “Pauliteiros” – a word that derives from “paulito” (small stick). The stick dance of binary metrum is called dança dos paus, dança dos paulitos, dança dos Pauliteiros and, in Mirandês language, la dança and dança de palotes. The dance is characterized by the use of two sticks that the dancers hit to the rhythm of the music played by the gaiteiros, a musical group composed by gaita-de-foles (bagpipe), caixa (small drum) and bombo (big drum), or by the so called tamborileiro, i. e. the individual that plays tamboril (drum) and fraita (three-holed pastoral flute) at the same time. It is performed by eight men in a specific costume, either comprising white embroidered skirts, woolen socks, decorated vests (coletes) and hats, or black trousers, white shirts, black vests and decorated hats.

Commemorative Joint Issue Stamps on Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal

Commemorative Joint Issue Stamps on Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal

Commemorative Joint Issue Stamps on Diplomatic relations between India and Portugal

Commemorative Stamps on Legendary Singers of India – 30th December 2016.

Department of Posts released a set of ten commemorative stamps and a miniature sheet on Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Bhupen Hazarika, Geeta Dutt, T. M. Soundarajrajan and Shamshad Begum under Legendary Singers series on 30th December 2016.

Talat Mahmood (February 1924 – 9 May 1998) is considered one of the greatest male singers in India. A born singer with an intuitive sense of beauty, charm and grace; a legendary Indian playback singer who created his own new style of ghazal singing which was to be followed afterwards. Talat Mahmood received Padma Bhushan in 1992, in recognition of his artistic contributions in the spheres of cinematic and ghazal music.

Prabodh Chandra Dey (1 May 1919 − 24 October 2013), known by his stage name Manna Dey, was a playback singer. He debuted in the film Tamanna in 1942, by this song "Upar Gagan Bishal" and went on to record more than 4,000 songs from 1942 to 2013. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. Manna Dey sang in all the major regional Indian languages, though primarily in Hindi and Bengali. His peak period in Hindi playback singing was from 1953 to 1976.

Mohammed Rafi (24 December 1924 – 31 July 1980) was one of the most popular singers of the Hindi film industry. Rafi was notable for his versatility; his songs ranged from classical numbers to patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers, qawwalis to ghazals and bhajans. He was known for his ability to mould his voice to the persona of the actor, lip-synching the song on screen in the movie. Between 1950 and 1970, Rafi was the most sought after singer in the Hindi film industry. He received six Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award. In 1967, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. Rafi is primarily noted for his songs in Hindi, over which he had a strong command. It is believed that he sang about 7,400 songs in many languages. He sang in other Indian languages including Assamese, Konkani, Bhojpuri, Odia, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Magahi, Maithili and Urdu. Apart from Indian languages, he also sang songs in English, Farsi, Arabic, Sinhalese, Creole and Dutch.

Kishore Kumar (4 August 1929 – 13 October 1987) was a famous playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director and screenwriter. He is considered one of the most successful playback singers of the Hindi film industry. Apart from Hindi, he sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Odia, and Urdu. He has also sung in private albums in several languages especially in Bengali which are noted as all-time classics. He won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in that category. He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government and from that year onwards, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated a new award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" for contributions to Hindi cinema.

Mukesh Chand Mathur (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976), better known mononymously as Mukesh, was a playback singer of Hindi movies. Along with Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, he was one of the most popular and legendary singer of his era. Amongst the numerous nominations and awards he won, his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from film Rajnigandha (1973) won him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. Mukesh was also popular as being the voice of the actor Raj Kapoor. Mukesh's voice was first noticed by Motilal, a distant relative, when he sang at his sister's wedding. Motilal took him to Mumbai and arranged for singing lessons by Pandit Jagannath Prasad. During this period Mukesh was offered a role as an actor-singer in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (1941). His first song was "Dil Hi Bujha Hua Ho To" as an actor-singer for Nirdosh. He got his break as a playback singer for actor Motilal in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar with music composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics written by Aah Sitapuri. The first song that he sang for a Hindi film was "Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De".

Hemanta Mukherjee, often credited as Hemant Kumar (16 June 1920 – 26 September 1989), was a playback singer, music director and film producer, who sang in Bengali, Hindi and other Indian languages. He won two National awards for the category best male playback singer. Hemanta was born in the city of Varanasi, India. His family originated from Baharu village in West Bengal. They migrated to Kolkata in the early 1900s. Hemanta grew up there and attended Nasiruddin School and later Mitra Institution school of Bhawanipore area. There he met his longtime friend Subhas Mukhopadhyay who later became a Bengali poet. During this time, he developed a friendship with the noted writer Santosh Kumar Ghosh. At that time, Hemanta wrote short stories, Santosh Kumar wrote poems and Subhash Mukhopadhyay sang songs.

Bhupen Hazarika (1926–2011) was a lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam, widely known as Sudhakantha. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. His songs, based on the themes of communal amity, universal justice and empathy, have become popular among the people of Assam, besides West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level. He received the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1975. Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padmashri (1997), and Padmabhushan (2001), Hazarika was awarded with Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), India's highest award in cinema, by the Government of India and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008), the highest award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2012. Hazarika also held the position of the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi from December 1998 to December 2003.

Geeta Dutt (born Geetā Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri; 23 November 1930 – 20 July 1972 was a prominent singer, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs, both in film and non-film genre. Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri was one of 10 children born to a wealthy Zamindar family in a village named Idilpur, presently under Gosairhat Upzilla of Shariatpur District, Bangladesh, formerly under Faridpur district in Bengal, British India. Her family moved to Calcutta and Assam in the early forties, leaving behind their land and properties. In 1942, her parents moved to an apartment in Bombay. Geeta was twelve and continued her schooling at the Bengali High School.

Thoguluva Meenatchi Iyengar Soundararajan (24 March 1922 – 25 May 2013), popularly known as TMS, was a playback singer in Kollywood for over six decades. He gave his voice to actors and thespians in the South Indian film industry such as M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, N. T. Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, Jaishankar, Ravichandar, AVM Rajan, Muthuraman, Nagesh, Rajkumar and A. Nageswara Rao. He also gave his voice to many new generation actors like Kamalahasan, Rajanikanth, Vijayakanth, Satyaraj, Rajesh, Prabhu, Vijaya Kumar and in five generation actors. He has sung over 20,000 film songs from more than 5,000 films. He has sung over 3,000 devotionals classical songs. He has also given classical concerts since 1945. In a career spanning over 6 decades he has recorded film songs in eleven languages including, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and other Indian languages. He also composed music for many of the ever-green devotional songs that were recorded. He was the music director for the film "Bala Parikshai". His peak period as a male playback singer in the South Indian film industry was from 1955 to 1985. Soundararajan died on 25 May 2013 at his residence in Mandaveli, Chennai due to illness. He was 91 years old at the time of his death.

Shamshad Begum (14 April 1919 – 23 April 2013) was an Indian singer who was one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry. She had a distinctive voice and was a versatile artist, singing over 6,000 songs in Hindi and the Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi languages and of them 1287 songs were Hindi film songs. She worked with maestros including Naushad Ali, S. D. Burman, C. Ramchandra and O. P. Nayyar. Her songs from the 1940s to the early 1970s remain popular and continue to be remixed. She was born in Lahore of modern day Pakistan on 14 April 1919, the day after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in nearby Amritsar city. She was one of eight children, five sons and three daughters, born to a conservative Muslim family of limited means. Her father, Mian Hussain Baksh Maan, worked as a mechanic, and her mother, Ghulam Fatima, was a pious lady of conservative disposition, a devoted wife and mother who raised her children with traditional family values.

Miniature Sheet on Legendary Singers of India

Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay - 29th December 2016.

Commemorative Stamp on Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deendayal UpadhyayPandit Deendayal Upadhyay (25 September 1916 – 11 February 1968) was an Indian philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and political scientist. He was one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party. He was born in the village Chandrabhan, now called Deendayal Dham, near the Farah town in Mathura District, 26 km away from Mathura. His father, Bhagwati Prasad, was a well-known astrologer and his mother Shrimati Rampyari was a religious-minded lady. Deendayal Upadhyaya was a man of soaring idealism and had a tremendous capacity for organisation and reflected different aspects of a social thinker, economist, educationalist, politician, writer, journalist, speaker, organiser etc. He was regarded as an ideal swayamsevak of the RSS essentially because ‘his discourse reflected the pure thought-current of the Sangh’. Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism – the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocates the simultaneous and integrated program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being.

Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was released by Uttar Pradesh Governor Shri Ram Naik and President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shri Amit Shah at Lucknow on 29th December 2016.

Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay

Commemorative Stamp on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay

Special Cover on Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar - 26th December 2016.

Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar was one of the most dedicated soldiers of India’s freedom struggle. Gaya Prasad Katiyar was born at Jagadishpur (UP). He joined Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1925 and got connected with Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. Later he participated on Lahore Conspiracy Case and was arrested from Saharanpur in 1929. He joined the hunger strike at Lahore Jail with his co prisoners. Later he was transported to Cellular jail in Andaman and again he participated on hunger strike there. He was repatriated in 1937 but again arrested and transported to cellular jail from where he was released in 1946.

Department of Posts released a Special Cover on Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar on 26th December 2016 at the function held to release commemorative stamps on Personalities of Bihar at New Delhi by Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare in presence of Mr. B. V. Sudhakar, Secretary, Department of Posts & Chairperson, Postal Services Board, Shri A. N. Nanda, Member (Banking & HRD) and Hardayal Municipal Public Library Chairperson Shobha Vijender.

Special Cover on Dr. Gaya Prasad Katiyar

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